'Love' on a Real Train: Jessie Ware and BenZel's '90s R&B Cover Is Reborn on the Subway

Silken take on Brownstone's 'If You Love Me' gets suitably steamy video

Play
Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

Unless you're a perv, the subway ain't sexy. On a certain level, though, more of us must be pervs than just the dirty old man who rode to work across from you this morning: Consider that scene from 1983's Risky Business, where Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay get intimate on a deserted Chicago El train to the electronic pulse of, sublimely, Tangerine Dream's "Love on a Real Train." Now add director Haley Wollens' steamy video for Jessie Ware and BenZel's "If You Love Me" to the same list.

The song, a stunning, pillowy update of a 1994 R&B hit by Michael Jackson-affiliated L.A. vocal group Brownstone, surfaced earlier this month with a different visual focusing on Ware's silhouette. According to the YouTube post, at least, BenZel consists of two Japanese teenagers who, having gone to New York through a foreign exchange program, "met in early 2012 through an online message board about ankle socks and quickly discovered they each had a profound appreciation for '90s R&B and J. Dilla." Yeah, we know. London electro-soul singer Ware, meanwhile, recently released her Essential debut album Devotion, after previously appearing on post-dubstep producer SBTRKT's own debut LP.

Wollens, the new video's director, has previously styled gifted rap dadaist Mykki Blanco, agit-pop provocateur M.I.A., and bubblegum noise-rockers Sleigh Bells, among others. This clip brings the song's smoldering bump 'n' grind to the fore, with grittily shot footage of a blond-wigged, angel-winged woman pole-dancing in a subway car; there's no nudity, but her short shorts and skimpy top might attract the wrong sort of attention from your boss. At the video's end, the dancer dives backward into an above-ground pool. A baptism? The song, at least, has already been beautifully reborn. Forget about the pervs: As Built to Spill once correctly observed, there's nothing wrong with love.

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
placeholder
Now Playing
  • 1 Chelsea Lankes — Too Young to Fall in Love " 03:11
  • 2 YELLE — MOTEUR ACTION (SOPHIE & A. G. Cook Remix) " 03:02
  • 3 Holly Miranda — All I Want Is to Be Your Girl " 02:35
  • 4 Yak — Something on Your Mind " 03:40
  • 5 Kopecky — Quarterback " 02:52
  • 6 Young Guv — Ripe 4 Luv " 32:41
  • 7 Big Harp — It's a Shame " 01:57

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA